Making space for artists
Among the 150 artists, works of established names such as Agacharya, Sachin Jaltare, Sanjay Ashtaputre and several Nakashi scroll artists were on display apart from that of student artists.
“Among the 150, close to 30 artists were students displaying their work and the youngest artist, Verna Chand, is eight years old,” explains Aelay.
This is Verna’s first stall, but she is no stranger to art. After her first solo show when she was just four, she has gone on to do several shows. At her stall, Verna had 15 artworks on display. “We have priced it very moderately so that people from all strata can buy those,” explains Lavanya, Verna’s mother.
One of the things that sets Telangana apart from many others is its variety of performing art forms and to represent this very variety, close to 50 artists were invited to perform in the city.
“A major part of Telangana’s culture is hidden in villages and these art forms need to be brought to the forefront,” explains Laxman Aelay who adds that most of these art forms are dying and this is a great way to introduce it to people in the city. “These art forms are a mix of storytelling and make use of the century-old art form of Nakashi scroll paintings, which in itself is a very famous artform,” he adds.
Taking art to people
The two-day Kala Mela was planned to take art into public space. “Art, for long, has been limited to galleries and museums and we wanted more people to explore it,” explains organiser Prshant Lahoti. Close to 150 artists, from the most experienced to an eight-year-old prodigy, the venue had space for all.
“The idea was to also provide a platform for artists where they freely converse with people. To make their works more affordable, artists and galleries had also slashed their price,” he adds.
Painting the town
Parallel to the Kala Mela, artists are busy working on their canvas — the walls. As part of the St+Art Hyd festival, a variety of artworks will be splashed across Hyderabad in the coming days. Giulia Ambrogi, the festival curator says, “We have several international and local artists, who are working on four projects — regeneration of the Makta neighbourhood, a public wall painted by 10 Telangana-based artists, project Artvertising where graffiti artist Daaku will be working on advertising hoardings, and the last is a type-based installation that will say ‘I love Hyd’.” As of now, the work on the buildings is underway and will go on for a few more days.